President Barack Obama has said there is no currently no “specific and credible” information of a potential terror threat to the US, but cautioned his countrymen to remain vigilant.
“At this moment, our intelligence and counter-terrorism professionals do not have any specific and credible information about an attack on the homeland,” he said yesterday after meeting top US security officials at the National Counter-terrorism Center in Virginia.
“That said, the country needs to be vigilant,” he added.
“We’re sending a message; if you target America, you will have no safe haven,” he said. “We will find you, and we will defend our nation.”
Obama’s comments came in the wake of a deadly shooting incident in California in which a Pakistani-origin couple shot dead 14 people.
Obama said the threat of terrorism has evolved to include smaller groups or individuals, which made it difficult to prevent attacks, but added that they were evolving to face the threat.
The administration will continue to do everything in its power to prevent terrorists from getting into the US, he said, adding they were working on protecting the country on three fronts.
“We’re hitting ISIL harder than ever in Syria and Iraq. We are taking out their leaders. Our partners on the ground are fighting to push ISIL back.
“We’re doing more with countries around the world, including our European partners, to prevent the flow of foreign terrorist fighters — both to places like Syria and Iraq, and back into our countries,” he said.
“We’re implementing additional layers of security for visitors who come here under the Visa Waiver Program and we’re working with Congress to make further improvements,” Obama said.
Any refugee coming to the United States — some of them victims of terrorism themselves — will continue to get the most intensive scrutiny of any arrival, the US president said, adding that they go through up to two years of vetting, including biometric screening.
“And the review that I ordered into the fiancé visa program, under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino came here, is ongoing,